THE DEATH SPIRAL OF A NATION
(…as seen by its progressive collapse into chaos)

The civil war in Syria continues to rage on, with no end in sight for it, while the diplomatic eunuchs of the world community keep on babbling and shuttling back and forth among themselves trying to figure out a way to end it.

What they all seem to ignore is that, from the moment the Assad regime (along with its Alawite and Ba’athist supporters) began its campaign of indiscriminate slaughter and violence against its own people, to put down their otherwise peaceful and legitimate protests against its totalitarian ways, the regime crossed a line into a place of no return. It thus can no longer expect to be allowed by its rebellious people any kind of peaceful compromise to exit from the scene. The only option left for it now is to fight to the last man.

So what we are watching now is the death spiral of a nation…as seen by its progressive collapse into chaos. Its cities are becoming ruins, its economy is mostly just in survival mode, and the matrix of its polycultural society is being torn into shreds by a conflict that was inevitable.  All because the regime was absolute and determined to retain power, no matter what, and any kind of protest against that was to be crushed without mercy.

No matter what happens next, Syria will no longer be… Syria … and whatever replaces it may not turn out to be better than what it was. There are already signs of that because the regime’s actions are making the old Sunni – Shia divide even wider and deeper than before. It is no longer just about of a long-ago religious inheritance squabble. Now it’s about political and economic freedom as well, and the Iranian meddling in the affair has simply increased that divide.

Meanwhile, in the north, the people of Aleppo, Syria’s most cosmopolitan and least sectarian part of it, find themselves the major battleground between the regime’s forces, and those of the rebels. While to the east, the Kurdish minority there, as it did in Iraq, is seizing the occasion to organize and militarize itself into a comparably strong de facto independent entity. One which will no longer meekly submit to whatever authority may finally emerge in Damascus afterwards.

 As for any Christian communities (Coptic or Orthodox), their ancient presence there may no longer be secure, and may thus find it necessary to seek refuge elsewhere, perhaps in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan,  or even Israel., and, as with the Huguenots of Richelieu ‘s France, who as a class, took away much of that old kingdom’s commercial and entrepreneurial  skills and wealth when they fled from persecution, leaving its society the poorer for that too.

Bad as all that may be…because of what the Assad regime has done, its fall can only end in a bloodbath of retribution and revenge against all who were part of it, which no amount of outside pressures, from anyone, will be able to prevent, and the nation once called- Syria- will be no more.

It’s a sad and cautionary tale for all such regimes to ponder while they still can.

CENTURION